With the help of Jim Tennant of The Tennant Group and Michael Meyer of Rate-Highway Inc., we are conducting rate surveys on a weekly basis and providing analysis and comments where appropriate. We publish this monthly recap in our electronic edition and more comprehensive looks in the print editions.
After a strong January and an almost flat February and early March, the rate quotes jumped dramatically in the last two weeks of March. A more detailed look at the individual weeks shows that Miami had huge, almost offsetting swings in the first and last weeks of March. Because Easter will fall in April this year and was in late March last year, this probably caused the extreme swings in Miami year-to-year.
The average increase of the five cities, excluding Miami, was about $11 with little change over the four weeks. Two weeks or even four weeks do not constitute a trend, but after the apparent slowing of increases in February, this rebound does give cause for optimism for the summer.
Boston — and to a lesser extent, Houston — account for most of the increase, and we need another month before knowing whether the other markets will follow.
We started our 50-city rate pulls in May 2013 and will have 13 months in June, allowing year-over-year comparisons. We will begin publishing those rates in our July column that will cover June rates. The larger sample will be useful in making sense of this type of situation.